tv BBC World News America PBS May 4, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
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>> this is "bbc world news america," reporting from washington. >> china allows the dissident chen guangcheng to apply for a passport. an american university is waiting for him. the latest employment data from the u.s. is disappointing. the economy is growing slowly but steadily. all hands on deck as the largest warship takes its place in the security plans for the london olympic games. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america. tonight, there is some good news for chinese legal activist
chen guangcheng. he has been offered a fellowship at an american university and chinese authorities say he is free to study abroad. it is not clear how long the process will take but the state department expects the process to be done speedily. for now, he remains in hospital in beijing. from there, we were sent this report. >> this is the way china deals with dissent -- silencing 8. outside the hospital where chen guangcheng, the most famous activist, is being held. he was brought to the hospital by american diplomats. he had sought their help in escaping after seven years of detention and savage beating. at the hospital last night, he made a dramatic call to u.s. congressman. under god was again, he appeared for help. -- under guard once again, he
appealed for help. he wanted to go to america. he would like freedom and safety. u.s. diplomats have had the humiliation of being prevented from seeing him despite a deal with china. the american deputy and faster try again today. the packages were left on the doorstep. -- the american deputy ambassador tried again today. the u.s. embassy doctor and a translator were allowed in. as they visited, china announced that mr. chen could go abroad if he would like. the crisis has come just as hillary clinton has been in beijing trying to build a better relationship with china. the u.s. university has offered mr. cehn a fellowship. -- mr. chen a fellowship.
>> progress has been made to get in the future that he wants. we will be in touch with them. >> for now, hillary clinton wraps up a meeting with chinese leaders and prepares to leave. there is no resolution in the crisis over chen guangcheng. there is an office in a tutu and it, but will china let him go? -- there is an opportunity to end it, , but will china let him go? >> nicolas sarkozy and his hollande,ncois are heating up. we have a report on what could be a photo finish. >> both of these candidates have been on the campaign trail now
for months. we are here at the end of the road. it is decision time for the french voters. it has been kind of a bruising and angry campaign. today was busy. both candidates bouncing around the country in an attempt to encourage the undecided voters to go their way. at the end of the day, it comes down to 40 million people in this country who must decide which policies they believe and which of these two men they want to lead them through this crucial period. for francois hollande, it is the end of a long journey. 30 years in opposition. his campaign almost a year ago. today, with just hours of the battle remaining, the challenger was still fighting for votes. five points ahead in the polls but nothing is taken for granted. >> i have never under estimated nicolas sarkozy. i have contested his policies,
his choices, and how he does things. i know his energy, the strength of his convictions, and his talent is debates. what he made a mistake in was underestimating me. >> the incumbent, nicolas sarkozy, continued his frantic dash around the country, in an area where he took over 40% of the votes and the last round. the polls have narrowed in his favor but he knows that the odds are stacked against him. >> i will preside and i will govern. the french make another choice, i have said it, at the moment, things will be over. it is normal. that is my view of the engagement. >> is he really contemplating defeat or is it a coming tactic to energize his base? the centrist candidate turned against the president and announced he would be voting instead for francois hollande.
another main candidate from the first round, the far right leader, marine le pen says that she will cast a blank ballot. >> he would need to get 60%-70% of these voters, also the same of le pen voters. >> on saturday, there will be no campaigning. just the preparations for the big day. already, the anticipation is building for a close finish. almost 1/5 of the french electorate has yet to make its choice. just to give an example of how angry this debate has been, let me show you the front page of "le monde" newspaper. it shows these boxers in the ring after the end of a bruising round. the idea in this newspaper that
the campaign has been backward- looking. it has not told us about where france fits in the modern world. it has been introspective. it focused on immigration, globalization, unemployment, without looking outward. that is what these candidates will need to address in the future, whichever one is elected. >> and other news, it has been another day of violence in cairo where security forces clashed with protesters. police used teargas and water cannons to drive back hundreds of stone-throwing protesters. the violence erupted after protesters ignored warnings not to approach the building. conrad black has been released from jail after serving a three- year sentence. he was convicted of fraud for taking millions of dollars from a media company. he has been allowed to return to canada despite giving up
citizenship to become a member of the british house of lords. there are -- there is an investigation into the allegations that dominique strauss-kahn was involved in a gang rape. his lawyer says that he is part of a public lynching campaign. the economy is dominating the presidential campaign in america and the employment figures provide ample fodder for democrats and republicans. unemployment has dropped from 8.2% in march to 8.1% in april. that is a step in the right direction but that is only half of the story. job creation has slowed. the u.s. economy just rated 115,000 jobs in april, prompting barack obama to announce a call to action. >> if we are going to recover
all of the jobs that were lost during the recession, and if we will build a secure economy that strength is a middle-class, then we will have to do more. next week, i will urge congress, as they start getting back to work, to take action on some common sense ideas right now, that can accelerate even more job growth. that is what we need. my message to congress will be, just say no to i -- just saying no to ideas that will create jobs is not an option. there is too much of state for us to not be going in the same direction. [applause] that is true for you and true for your parents. >> for more on what is behind the headline numbers, i'm joined by -- not as many jobs that were hoped for and expected. is this a sign that the economy
is slowing again? >> i beg to differ. i think that it is steady. what you see looking at the revisions of last month, we have added more jobs. that picked up in the past two months. almost 53,000 jobs in and of itself. the past four months, we have seen 200,000 jobs created in four months. in 26 months, 4.2 million private-sector jobs. obviously, the congress would like to go and a different direction, but this president will stay focused and that is why we continue to plow down on education, job training, tax cuts. >> let's look at what the president is planning to do. the unemployment figures are down. the art of -- the number of people looking for jobs has fallen to 63%. that is the lowest figure in 60 years. why aren't more people going to work? was given the census figures and what have you, we can see that
there are larger numbers of people staying in education longer. -- >> given the census figures and what have you, we can see that there are larger numbers of people staying in education auger. we also have the baby boomers. last time that we went through a recession, this has been a quicker recovery than we saw back in the nineties. 4.2 million jobs is not that companies to be better. when this president came into office, we had lost 8 million jobs. i think for people to think that it is going to come that rapidly, you need to think twice. we need to be focused. this is a steady incremental justification to keep moving in the right direction. >> the president himself says that there is more to be done. you mentioned education. we heard a call to action. what more can he do that he has not already done? >> he has tried to get the congress to help us backfill
some of these unfunded programs like infrastructure projects that would create more construction jobs, not just in that industry but everything that is auxiliary and connected. that would bring down the unemployment rate quite quickly, but these folks on the other side of the aisle just keep saying no. >> one of the biggest areas we have seen job losses if the government. what can you do about that? >> we have stabilized at. two years ago, we saw a tremendous loss and the president, through his efforts, did help to backfill some of that. now, local government has to get on their feet. some of them are, because their state property taxes have gone down. once the economy goes up, you will see those positions coming back into play. we do need to help those teachers, because they will help impact the young people looking for work. >> thank you very much indeed for joining us. >> thank you. >> as london prepares to host the olympic games this summer,
another large-scale secured exercises that employes on the river thames. the royal navy sailed into the heart of london, where they will be part of the task force protecting against a possible terrorist attack. -- as one of repairs to host the live the games, and other large- scale security exercise on the river thames. >> the largest warship was never designed for this. last year, it was launching attacks over libya. today, she was trying to navigate the narrow passages of the river thames. there is no room for mistakes. just managing to squeeze through the barrier. her crew has been rehearsing how to deal with any potential attack. this is the start of a major military action for the olympics. from her deck, helicopters reveal any threats from the air, while police and marines will
scan the river. the arrival of this warship in london is not just a reminder of that the olympics is a major sporting event, this is also a massive security operation. the military presence is not just confined to hear on the thames. up in the skies above london, there will be navy, army, and raf helicopters. some of them will have snipers. they will all be poised to deal with any potential threat. it is the plans to deploy missiles close to this day and you and in this case, directly on top of a block of flats, that has caused the greatest controversy. prompting the question, is all of this military hardware necessary? >> nowadays, with all of the security issues, this is a slice of life. >> this is a big day for the flyboys. >> as the game's fast approached, the security will
get tighter. today, the olympic stadium held is very first competition and a reminder of what it is supposed to be about. >> i don't think that anyone should be alarmed by friendly military forces. they know that there are the men, the equipment here ready to protect them if any threat should arise. >> this summer, this warship will be a familiar london side. as a welcome deterrent, or is this an unwanted eyesore? >> you are watching "bbc world news america," still to come -- the challenge of keeping the lights on in japan as the last nuclear power station shut down. the taliban say that they carried out a suicide bombing which killed 20 people at the police checkpoint in northwestern pakistan. five of the dead were members of the tribal police.
>> that blast was powerful enough to reduce shops and restaurants to rubble. the suicide bomber struck near a crowded market in the early morning. many of the dead were civilians. the taliban says that the main target was a tribal police officer who won the presidential award for fighting against them. his bravery and dedication cost him his life. survivors were rushed to hospital for treatment. among them, this young boy. the tribal region has been a battleground for years. the army has hit hard, pounding taliban strongholds near the afghan border and losing many troops in the process. the militants linked to al qaeda have been pelted from the air,
targeted by attack helicopters. many senior leaders managed to flee across the border. several times the army has declared victory, insisting the area has been cleared. but the taliban keeps proving them wrong. the bombing was the third attack in just two days. twin blasts killed five people. the dead were tribal elders and security personnel. local officials have condemned the latest attack and said the fight against terror will continue to its logical end. >> the u.s. state department has confirmed it has received a new application for a pipeline to carry oil from the so called tar
sands in western canada to a hub in the state of nebraska. president obama lost the project over environmental concerns. the new application includes new routes designed to avoid sensitive areas. president obama is under pressure to support the pipeline. business leaders and republicans say it would create thousands of jobs. if there is any doubt how influential big oil companies, a new book will probably dispel them. it is called "private empire -- exxon mobil." its author is with me. thank you for coming in. when you think of big oil, you think of these enormous the powerful companies. how is exxon any different from british petroleum or any others? >> it is interesting because
many major industrialized countries have their own big oil companies. some of them are owned by the government. the u.s. is alone in having a giant oil company that lives in some state of opposition to its own government. it was born forcibly of break up by an order of the supreme court. the ceo has disclosed that his favorite novel is "atlas shrugged" about dystopian power. exxon mobil has a real distant from the government. >> you describe it as a state within the american state. >did they have a good relationship with the bush administration? >> well, they had equal relationships with the clinton and bush administration is but the obama administration has been harder to crack. >> you describe to the structure
that is very secretive and insular, who is accountable to? >> its shareholders and the law, they would say. this is best understood as an independent sovereign where the moving force is shareholder interest which is the pursuit of profit and the long-term value that shareholders realize. so, they see themselves increasingly untethered from the united states but also from governments in general. multinationals have spread themselves out of around the world and in the post cold war era, i think they feel less to any national system. in the cold war, companies in the west where the king at this as a contest with an opposing system. now, they're on their own. >> what about their public image? we tried to contact them
about your book and they have not gotten back to us. did the action to care about what we think? >> they have concluded that they can change it very much. -- do they action to care about what we think? >> they have concluded that they cannot change it very much. they are looking for some golden age they can model a new strategy on, they cannot find it. primarily, it is because of the power that gasoline has over the american life. it is a utility that you cannot escape. the price goes up, when it goes up, the new price is right next to the brand of exxon mobil. drivers are trapped by these indirect taxes. they're not sure to blame, but they do blame the oil companies. >> you start with one disaster, the exxon valdez back in 1980, you end with the deepwater horizon spill in the gulf. do you conclude that anything has changed in those decades? >> the companies are working in riskier and riskier
environments, as the bp disaster showed. they're also not prepared for a catastrophic accident. >> well, there you go. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> japan is about to switch off nuclear power for the first time in four decades. before the devastating quake and tsunami last year, they were drawing 1/3 of their as much as if from nuclear plants. since then, a pattern has been emerging. as soon as the reactor was shut for maintenance, the local authorities refused to let it restart. this weekend, it is time for the last working reactor to go off line. we have been given a tour of the facility and we report on the challenges of going nuclear- free. >> once it was a symbol of japan's belief in a nuclear future. this was the biggest nuclear power station in the world.
we were taken through the heavy door into the maze of corridors and side, write to the control room for the reactors built to power tokyo. one by one, all of the nuclear power stations have been shut down and now the output is zero tenths of -- now the output is zero. this is a warning that the airlock is open. over here, that is the pool where the spent nuclear fuel, still radioactive of course, is being stored. next to it, that is the top of the reactor itself. before the disaster at fukushima, japan relied on nuclear power for nearly 1/3 of its electricity. the nearby town faces a choice between fear and economic collapse.
the power station is the biggest employer, but like other local communities, they are reluctant to allow it to be restarted. they are wary of another fukushima. >> we have been living with the nuclear power station. the most important thing is that it is safe. but now, we find out it was an accident. that is not the case. our trust in the people who run the plant and the government has been troubled. >> the lights must be kept on in tokyo -- a glistening mitropoulos that consumes a vast amount of power. to prevent blackouts, imports of fuels have risen dramatically. it comes at a heavy price, at expensive electricity. >> the manufacturing sector
needs cheaper energy. are constructing a huge new seawalls, big enough they say to withstand any possible tsunami -- >> they are constructing a huge new sea wall, big enough, they say, to withstand any possible tsunami. convincing people now will not be easy. >> more on the enormous changes and challenges facing japan since the tsunami. you can find that story and much more online at bbc.com/news. you can see what we're working on through our facebook page. and for all of us at "bbc world is america," thank you for watching and have a very good weekend. -- for all of us that "bbc world news america."
>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended, global